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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Screened Inner Cover/Dead Bees

    Newbie. First year.
    I've converted all of my inner covers to full screen. We're in Georgia and it stays very hot in summer. I'll switch back when weather cools off. Meanwhile, I get various critters like roaches, wax moths, SHB and honey bees on top of the screen. Last inspection revealed a large number of dead bees (about 50) on top of a thriving colony. Can't say for sure, but I don't think they were mine. I have a diverse blend of bees (Jennifer Berry's Nucs) that lean to dark colors and the dead ones on the screen looked all very light.
    I'm wondering about attempted robbery (they can't get past the screen) vs. my own girls getting confused about the entrance location because they can smell their queen's pheromones more coming out the top. Or whatever. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Screened Inner Cover/Dead Bees

    Need to screen off all openings to top of inner cover, so your bees and robbers can't get in.

    Am trying some mini supers(3 1/2 inch) high above my inner covers. Have drilled two one inch holes on each side. holes slanted slightly downwards, and covered in 1/8 inch screen. Have screened bottom boards, and big screened opeinings in my inner cover( 3.5 inch in center and two 1 3/8 in corners) to provide as much natural ventialtion as the bees will allow. My five deep super is bearding some on 90F days.

    We don't have mush trouble with unwanted bugs in our area but a screened cavity in your area may be a problem.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,755

    Default Re: Screened Inner Cover/Dead Bees

    I have a couple of nuc covers with polyester "batting" material glued under the outer covers. If I was to do more covers I would glue full pieces unto the covers with maybe a piece of screen (6"x6" ?) glued in the center to keep the bees out of the batting.
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Screened Inner Cover/Dead Bees

    I'd bet they were potential robbers. Not a big deal. Is the screen mesh small enough that the wax moths and shb can't get through?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Screened Inner Cover/Dead Bees

    It's about like window screen. I've seen (and squashed) a few SHBs. It's close but looks like maybe they can't get through.
    Inner Cover The wax moths I've seen are definitely too big to get through.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Screened Inner Cover/Dead Bees

    BTW, this colony is on 1:1 syrup using a Brushy top feeder. Tempting for all sorts of critters. Saw some ants this AM when I filled up the feeder. They're taking more than a gallon/week. Same number +/- of dead bees above the screen. More careful estimate this time and it's at least 100.
    The ants had a trail going up and I wiped at it a good bit but that will only stop them for a couple of hours at most. They were numerous but didn't have that organized line march they get when hauling food from a cache. I'm assuming they feed in the syrup but can they carry it back to their colony like a honey bee can carry nectar? Are they a slight hassle or should I try for more advanced efforts to stop them? I have Come And Get It (organic ant bait). Works like a charm and I doubt the bees would take an interest in it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,999

    Default Re: Screened Inner Cover/Dead Bees

    If you can figure out somewhere to sprinkle regular cinnamon it will often repel ants. I've used it successfully on top of my inner covers...sprinkled on top and rubbed over the cover. I know you don't have solid covers on, though...maybe around the frame perimeter? I also sprinkle around the cement blocks and on top of the blocks. Bees don't seem to mind it but the ants I've dealt with disappeared after I used it.

    Ed

  8. #8

    Default Re: Screened Inner Cover/Dead Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by brushwoodnursery View Post
    I'm assuming they feed in the syrup but can they carry it back to their colony like a honey bee can carry nectar? Are they a slight hassle or should I try for more advanced efforts to stop them?
    The ants do pretty much as the bees. Fill up and haul home. I don't worry about them. If the bee colony is healthy, they will keep the ants out of the nest proper. I've never....well hardly ever...lost a hive to ants. Now if a hive fails...they will be 'johnny on the spot' to clean up! It hardly seems right to attract them with sugar syrup and then poison them for collecting a bit.
    It sounds like you're doing the right things.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Screened Inner Cover/Dead Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    It sounds like you're doing the right things.
    Thanks! I appreciate hearing that.

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